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Microsoft Is Totally Killing the PC

It's not an exaggeration to say that the PC market has never been this bad. So much for the "PC-Plus" era that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has been talking so much about lately; given IDC's most recent estimates on PC shipments, maybe "PC-Minus" is more appropriate.

Global PC units in the first quarter got absolutely crushed, falling by 14%. That's the biggest drop that the market researcher has ever seen in a single quarter in the nearly two decades that it's been releasing quarterly estimates. That's almost twice as bad as the already-reduced 7.7% decline IDC was expecting.

There were an estimated 76.3 million PCs shipped in the first quarter, down from 88.6 million units a year ago. IDC makes it very clear that Windows 8 played no small role in the precipitous drop. IDC's Bob O'Donnell notes, "At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market."

Source: IDC. YoY = year-over-year.

The new interface may be a bit too much for the average consumer to take in. After all, killing an interface element like the Start Menu that's been around for 17 years is a big risk. Plenty of Windows 8 users have expressed that they want the Start Menu back, even if that means downloading third-party alternatives.

There's also a growing perception that Windows 8 needs a touchscreen to be fully enjoyed. That's only partially true. While the operating system is definitely built around touch interface, it's also fully compatible with a good old-fashioned mouse and keyboard. Touch-based devices come at a premium price -- a price that consumers aren't willing to pay for a platform with so many trade-offs.

It doesn't help that the only two domestic PC giants left standing are undergoing identity crises. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) remains in turmoil, with its chairman just stepping down and continued debate over whether or not the company should be broken up. HP is also actively exploring other platforms from Google; the company has released both a Chromebook and Android tablet this year.

Dell (UNKNOWN: DELL.DL  ) is still trying to scare investors into selling the company back to Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. The company's recent proxy statement lays out the gloomy state of the PC market, a not-so-subtle nudge to get investors to allow the company's founder to take Dell private. That's a major change in Dell's tone, since it used to talk up all its enterprise potential -- a discrepancy that Southeastern Asset Management has called out as it opposes the deal.

Chinese vendor Lenovo held up the best with 0% growth, while all other vendors in the top five saw double-digit declines. HP's shipments fell 24% to 12 million; Dell shipped 11% less units this quarter at 9 million.

Not even Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is immune from the downturn. While the Mac maker doesn't rank in the top five globally, IDC estimates that Apple's domestic Mac shipments declined by 7.5%. That's still outpacing the broader market, and there have been other indications that iMac shipments are roaring back as the company overcomes supply constraints, but it still doesn't bode well for future Mac growth. The saving grace for Cupertino is that Apple relies much less on the PC market than its rivals, with Macs comprising just 13% of trailing-12-month sales.

Still need more proof that the PC is dead as the preferred personal computing form factor?

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (65) | Recommend This Article (64)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 7:49 PM, lakawak wrote:

    It is AMAZING that people can actually be employed (sort of) as writers in a tech field and not understand this...

    PC sales are falling because there is no need to replace a 4 year old computer anymore. In the 90s when people were just getting computers, a 4 year old computer simply could not handle the demands. Even a computer bought in early 00s was unable to handle the demands of an internet designed for broadband by the middle of the decade. But a computer bought after 2007 still works fine today. Even one that cost a LOT less than those computers from the 90s or early 00s that were obsolete in 3 years.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 7:55 PM, cleardeal wrote:

    Completely overstated article by those financed by GOOG, AMZN, & FB. Tablets are still internet toys compared to PCs/Macs that students & businesses alike need to work, not just play with social media. To say the PC is in trouble is a biased, uninformed view, notwithstanding the recent Q1 PC results. Furthermore, those who entrust their private info & programs to "the cloud" so freely will be extremely sorry, as we already see security breaches everywhere. Good luck.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 8:28 PM, hoadhead wrote:

    Microsoft has engineers designing gui's and they design what makes sense to them and expect others to learn you use their products. Well, news flash, we are not all engineers! Microsoft would be much better off letting 5th graders design their gui's and then just having the engineers implement things.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 10:42 PM, fsc137 wrote:

    The computing power of PCs has stalled. Once you have a 64 bit machine running at a clockspeed of several gigahertz (the limit for CMOS technology), you perhaps don't need any more for the tasks people most use, and it's technically difficult to exceed that amount of computer power. So it's perfectly natural that we're seeing an hiatus in computer sales. Furthermore, the financial resources needed to develop significantly more powerful processors is lacking. The demand isn't there.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 10:49 PM, ri33 wrote:

    PC sales have taken a hit because people who do not need a full computer now can use a tablet and those who still need a computer can use the same ones they have had. Tablets may be "toys" but computers (and their OS) are complex devices that many do not need for simple tasks such as reading e-mail, browsing the web. I do not know anyone who puts sensitive, private data in the cloud. I know I don't. I also do not see tablets fading into the sunset as fads or worthless "toys" unless of course the internet does too.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 10:56 PM, MichaelDoak wrote:

    Follow the "smart" Microsoft money:

    1)average daily trade volume is 46 Million shares, and the stock is moving up, in volume, and price, indicating someone knows something about something, as the price soared in the last few days....131mm shares traded today(following 50MM, 50MM per day)/price high in the last year was $32.90~~yesterday, it hit $31, from $26.50 just 30 days ago; stock has traded dividendless for many years, but paid .032%/$ .92 for the Qtr., due 3/18, 2nd Qtr in a row; close today was $28.93; expect it to go past $35/share within next 2 weeks, based on...."something" insiders know, and contrary to all PC "negative" articles....; writer's do not always know everything, and can write "directed" self-serving pieces.... Keep watching~~

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 11:20 PM, bugmenot wrote:

    I am very PC/Windows literate. Windows 8 is too different from all other versions of Windows. There is no right/left/esc/click operation from the past that gets you to something you previously knew how to do. MS made a moronic decision. There should have been a controlled transition to a different interface. Windows 8 might be GREAT but it SUCKS! An expert Windows user is now helpless and incompetent. That doesn't make sense! This is like reversing the gas and the brake pedal on a car!

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:00 AM, penny4urstocks wrote:

    Windows 8 looks like its designed for smartphones and tablets, yet pc makers preinstall it on the new computers. I turn on my laptop and immediately go to the desktop. Even youtube is geared toward non pc users now. They want everyone viewing things on 4 inch screens or at least they think thats what people want to do.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:11 AM, crash3085 wrote:

    Yay, another stupid, useless, and misinformed tech article from MF! Microsoft is NOT killing the PC. Microsoft does not build the hardware, and that's what has stalled in the past 4 years as mobile devices have taken off at the developmental pace that we saw with PCs in the 90s. My laptop is 4.5 years old (and running Windows 8, BTW), and there is almost no difference in hardware from this machine to the new ones...certainly not enough to make replacing it worthwhile unless it dies. I think that's where most other people are at too...why replace something that works fine with something else that is almost the exact same thing? $2K just to get another .2 GHz over 3 years ago? Yeah, right. The hardware companies have just moved their development to what people want now. Even some magical perfect OS could save it at this point. And nobody said you can't still run Windows 7 on a new PC...don't blame Microsoft and the OS for a change in consumer demands. Remember, phones with rotary dials were once popular and big sellers too!

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:26 AM, duudaa wrote:

    First thing I do when I buy a computer I install Linux. Windoz is a mess.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:28 AM, 83fong wrote:

    It's not just window 8, it's current technology as well. Window 8 seems gear toward tablet, especially with the touchscreen interface. Personally most people rather just plug their computer to their big screen tv or monitors they already own, then shell out $400 for a new touchscreen monitor. The other problem with factory box computer is that their technology is already outdated by the time it hits the shelf. For just a little more than the factory box pc price, and one with a brain can build a computer. I've built 42 new computers at work in the past month running window 7 because the boss said we needed somthing that would not require upgrading again by next year.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:40 AM, NoWindows8LockIn wrote:

    hoadhead wrote: "Miicrosoft has engineers designing gui's and they design what makes sense to them and expect others to learn you use their products. Well, news flash, we are not all engineers! Microsoft would be much better off letting 5th graders design their gui's and then just having the engineers implement things."

    On the contrary, that is the problem. Engineers, real ones, not posers, are rational thinkers. They appreciate beauty in form, flow, etc. They know their limits, and let other people do the parts that they are not good at. Posers, on the other hand, are not rational thinkers. They thought processes, relatively speaking, is a friggin' mess. Over the past 15 years, these posers have crept into Microsoft, first as a trickle, then as a torrent, and today, in 2013. they are inseparably-integrated into Microsoft. They are like a cancer. You can easily spot them. The are the ones for whom nothing is ever certain, concrete...creativity development is iterative and a long, diarrhetic process. These posers drove out the real engineers at Microsoft. If your software seems "flaky" as you move the mouse, and then suddenly locks up, you should thank one of these posers. Oh, and Windows 8 does suck, as a result.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 1:35 AM, maharabatha wrote:

    Truly true. If computer, software and support items would be sold every 3 years, updating as its use is well groomed through 36 months, the appointment of deception in customer likeness would be erased. basically, namely due to a "too quick, fast and furious system of selling out new products every year", a new product! You do not need to do business by selling new products every 6 or 12 months. A good product lasts for 3 years until innovation takes over. Either you beat time or time beats the market. Either way it is an unbalance equally to placing a heavy steel bar on one side and dollar bills on the other. Which one wins, the steel bar of course, (the new untested product even if, the manufacturer has tested it, the public´s view and capabilites lies in its performance).

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 1:36 AM, kenxk16 wrote:

    I tried Windows 8 several times. Was difficult to find the shutdown. I accidentily discovered it by googling for the anwser on another notebook. I tried the apps available. Didn't find anything fun. I have built my internet toys around the big screen Tv with a home theater system and an amp. How do I touch a 60" Tv or why would I want too. I can't see buying a $300 to $1000 small touch screen to pay about $400 on average a month to play 1980's games like Pacman or Frogger. Crazy. Can't even hook the things up the big screen Tv. Little touch screens to me is like spending $300 to $600 plus an average $400 a month bill for an AM radio. Even if you have a good set of headsets that sound does not match the quality I get from the home theater system. My biggest question is what do you do with them thats so great? Like a sliding puzzle, mini tv and radio with nothing else to do but shop and spend more money.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 4:27 AM, oneofthemasses wrote:

    The fact all the companies are suffering I would link it to the economy. Cable and satellite subscriptions are way down too. This reflects disposable incomes available to the masses.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 5:17 AM, klintmiles wrote:

    "PC" by practical terms means "non-Mac". "PC" by true definition means "computer I use by myself do to computing tasks"

    In either case, an android phone is literally a PC.

    Those are doing great.

    I think your data is probably showing a graph of "desktop computer sales", which is, by every definition, NOT what PC means.

    You should rename this article "Windows 8 kills desktop computer". Which is still not entirely true. Because it's cell phones that are really killing desktop computers.

    You want to make this article true? Entitle it

    "Windows 8 sucks for desktops and laptops," and then replace the word "PC" in your article with the words "desktop and laptops" and then you've got a legitimately true article. Still not informative nor surprising, but TRUE.

    there I go again, yelling at the internet. I must be bored.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 5:44 AM, neoat40 wrote:

    I have to laugh at all of the folks who find Windows 8 "too hard"! Are you freaking kidding me? If you want the old desktop use that..its called the desktop icon...whoohoo...that was really tough to figure out.

    The rest of the world knows how to use touch screens....those who don't will just have to accept the fact that they are dinosaurs like your grandparents who still can't figure out how to set the clock on their VCR! Now hurry up and go yell at the neighbor kids to get off your lawn!

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 8:06 AM, ldlduvall wrote:

    Linux solves the windoze 8 problem quite nicely.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 8:10 AM, RandomMeaning wrote:

    People seem to have forgotten that Windows 8's UI is based on Windows Phone 07, which was based on the Zune interface.

    The purpose of Windows 8 was not to advance the usability of desktop and laptop computers. Its purpose was to get the huge installed base of Windows users used to the Windows 8 interface so that they would be more likely to buy a Windows phones.

    Leaving aside the valid debate of how effective a touch based phone interface would be on a desktop/laptop, Microsoft does not seem to have considered the possibility that rather than simply accept what they were given, users might actually seek alternatives.

    Objectively, Microsoft has made a strategic mistake. They took the UI from a failed device (Zune), adapted it for cell phones (Windows 07) which experienced a steep decline from 11% market share to around 4%, updated for the next gen of phones (Windows Phone 08) but leaving all previous users (Windows Phone 6.x and Windows Phone 07) on a tech dead end, and finally applied it to desktops/laptops (Windows 08) which has resulted in quarterly declines accelerating.

    I would add that I certainly agree that the rise of "lite" computing iPads and tablets has replaced a lot of the more casual uses of a PC. Also, iPads and tablets can do certain "heavy" computing tasks quite well with the right software. Not long ago computers had to be replaced much more frequently. As others have stated, they've reached a point where huge advances aren't necessary for the vast majority of uses. So, instead of an expensive "disposable" computers which needed frequent replacements, we have much less expensive "disposable" iPads/tablets which are replaced yearly due to advances.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 8:30 AM, jcan1701 wrote:

    First, the PC is no where near dead. Its much cheaper than ever before. More people are realizing that building their own machines is better and cheaper than buying a prebuilt one. Those of us who are gamers will never replace our PCs, and will probably just upgrade the machines we have until we are completely unable to do so. Maybe the PC is dead for the average business, but I'd say that is more or less because the hardware has finally surpassed the software, so newer computers are not needed as much.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 9:44 AM, andreasjva wrote:


    You are absolutely 100% correct. People are simply diverting their money to other technologies, like tablets and smart phones, because they already have a laptop or desktop that works perfectly fine. May not be the fastest thing on the market, but we're all limited by bandwidth at this point anyway, not processing. Until some groundbreaking gotta have software is written that requires an 8-core processor, with 16gb of ram, and other gingerbread, no one really needs a new pc. SSD technology is also a great way to pep up your old machine, and speed the boot. Many are doing minor upgrades. I just threw an SSD in my old dual core laptop(with an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro - awesome OS!), and the thing works great (about 5 years old). I'm also running a very old Dell desktop with Kubuntu, and it runs perfectly fine for surfing the internet and managing my personal finances. I bought my wife a tablet instead of a laptop (iPad Retina - hate it personally), because it's all she really needed for what she does. Surfing the net and checking email. Software drives the need for better machinery, but the advances in machinery finally outpaced the software. Machinery is simply ahead of the software development curve, and waiting on the next big software advance to take advantage of the power.

    You are absolutely correct though. Windows 8 has absolutely nothing to do with the decline of PC sales. They've simply reached a peek after 20 years, and hit a performance to usefulness plateau. The new technology curve has finally flattened out.

    And for those of you who are considering Windows 8, do it. It's a very good OS, and backward compatible to legacy software. It's a very efficient OS. If you do the upgrade, a highly recommend purchasing as SSD, and possibly a little memory if you're below 2gb.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 9:58 AM, miteycasey wrote:

    What about laptop sales?

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 10:06 AM, andreasjva wrote:

    Here's my prediction. Cell phones and tablets will reach a performance to usefulness peak, and sales will flatten out, and dive like the PC.

    Then, some writer will come along and try to find company to blame.

    I run a 3 year old HTC, a 5 year old HP laptop, and a 7 year old Dell desktop. You know what? They all work perfectly fine, and I have no real compelling reason to upgrade, other than wanting something just for the sake of wanting something.

    I run Windows 8 Pro on my laptop, and love it. I run Kubuntu on my Desktop, and love it. I run Android on my cell phone, and like it.

    My only plan to purchase a new device is my cell phone, whic is basically an antique by todays standards, but I'm waiting for Sprint to sell Windows 8 phones. In the mean time, it works for phone calls, text messages, emails, and a limited amount of surfing. Performance is really bad for surfing. I'm tired the Android OS at this point, and want something different.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:36 PM, RobertLB1 wrote:

    I have no interest in Windows 8, and I refuse to purchase a pc with Windows 8. I have read that people buy new pc's only to have Windows 7 installed in them rather than using 8. It's time for a completely new operating system not made by Microsoft.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 12:56 PM, CluckChicken wrote:

    "IDC's most recent estimates on PC shipments"

    Why do we never hear what the IDC actually calls a PC? How the define PC will make a huge difference in what people think companies involved in the market are actually going through.

    For instance if Dell sell a million less Inspiron laptops this year but sells a million Latitude 10 tablets our their PC sales a million less or are they flat? You can get both of those devises built with nearly identical setups and they will do all the same things.

    My guess is that IDC does not count any tablet as a PC which greatly misleads everyone and leads writers who already do not understand the market to write bad articles based on the bad info.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 1:23 PM, andreasjva wrote:


    It's funny, i took the plunge into Windows 8, and wound up loving it after a few days. That said, I initially hated it, but I didn't own it, so I decided to try it first.

    Most of the people I find that hate, don't own it. How can you hate something, you've never really used. And I'm not talking casually, because I did that, and found it frustrating on the surface.

    I realize I would never change your mind at this point, but it is definitely better than the previous OS's they produced. It;s just different, but still entirely the same if you chose to operate it like that. You can even bring back a full start menu, and skip metro entirely.

    I'm an IT guy with 25 years of experience, so I'm not someone to talk out of my you know what. I also run Kubuntu, and my wife uses an iPad. I also use Macs regularly (hate them).

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 12:56 PM, xetn wrote:

    I quit using windows in 1999 when I discovered Linux. I can download any number of different distributions along with all the application one could ever want all for free.

    With rare exception, it runs on almost any hardware and with less resource use. (I even have it installed on a Mac book pro because I hate the Mac software but appreciate the hardware).

    MS has been playing the planned obsolescence since its Win 95 with a new version about every 2 years in order to keep its revenue up. And, since every new version required more and more resources to run, it was at the same time pushing new hardware.

    MS' decline began with its ill-fated Vista which was completely moronic.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 1:05 PM, stevef5566 wrote:

    Desktops and tablets are different. Management is trying to sell users a one-size-fits-all operating system and users are rebelling. This applies to APPL, as well as MSFT.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 1:10 PM, Cosmanis wrote:

    A few months ago i got hijacked and shookdown by a FBI malware virus on my Win7os., luckly i had a Linux os dvd handy, it formatted over the virus, but the episode soured me to windows to the point that i only use Linux. For an alternative option that you could use on any tv/monitor that has a hdmi port: if you're okay with Android.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 1:34 PM, Kristyn416 wrote:

    Microsoft has served it's purpose. It's had it's day in the sun and the run is over. This is not the first, but the second failed OS the company has put out--remember Vista? Are we seriously going to trust this company to come out with anything worthwhile when the consensus is shifting to lighter, smaller and faster? By the time MSFT catches up with their new tablet, the craze would have shifted over to the next generation in tablet technology. Besides, people are looking for yield and 3% just doesn't cut it anymore. My put is on MSFT.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 2:42 PM, jerryd108 wrote:

    What a waste of time reading this overstated article; and I really thought Fools were immune to such simplistic response. Sounds like an apple and google payroll recipient.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 3:03 PM, oberta wrote:

    I agree with budmenot. Windows 8 is different from the past model softwares. I am running an office for years 3 PC's with XP prof with very good results. However, one of the PC's should be replaced because of some technical problems.

    It is very difficult to find a PC vendor who will replace the W8 by XP prof even if you have the software available.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 3:30 PM, TheRealRacc wrote:

    It is illogical to discuss Windows 8 success or failure without including Windows 7 and the current upgrade cycle of Win XP to Win 7. Long MSFT.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 3:31 PM, TheRealRacc wrote:

    Oberta, it is not possible to upgrade from XP to 8. Need new package.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 4:23 PM, jc09058 wrote:

    Lots of rants and raves here and that’s pretty traditional when you start talking about Tech. I've been in this business since 1974 and seen the "bleeding" edge of Tech for most of that time. I remember working on MS-DOS systems and thinking that Windows 3.1 was going to be a neat system. Every change since then has been met by me as something new and wonderful. I even enjoyed beta testing Windows 7 despite the bumps it had.

    Now, as for Windows 8, Microsoft has a wonderful gift for blowing even numbered operating system releases. (Vista was an even number release and look how that went.) Losing the Start Button is a major mistake for a lot of reasons, touch screen ready Operating System (whatever...) and another mistake was the having all those little windows splashed across the main screen (info over-load).

    Glitz, glamour and too much info displayed on the main screen is not the way to go. I don't even really get to choose what I want to displayed either in some cases and I can't shut off any of those little windows I don't need. I tried Windows 8 and played with it for about a month and so did my 11 year old daughter. We both came to the same conclusion that Windows 7 was much better and easier to navigate. So, I replaced Windows 8 with Windows 7 and things improved from there.

    At this point, I'm not sure what windows will for their next Operating System but I will hope that a step back will be the direction they head but until they do, the hardware market for new desktops and laptops is going to take a hit. As for me, I will not upgrade beyond Windows 7 until a suitable replacement is developed that allows me the option to choose whatever I wish to see and whatever format I wish to see it in.

    In simple terms, I choose my backgrounds, I chooses what windows and programs I want to run, when I want those programs to run, and when I closed a window, that the programs stops running. Windows 8 does not let me do that. If it does do that, then I couldn't figure it out and for a guy that has been in this business for 35+ years that constitutes a MAJOR FAIL on Microsoft's part.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 4:34 PM, edtrain wrote:

    Amazing!! The TV screens keep getting bigger, the data processing screens keep getting smaller ie, smart phones, tablets, etc.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 4:38 PM, LowHertz wrote:

    Windows 7 is much more practical for long time users. There should be a PC operating system

    and a touch screen operating system.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2013, at 12:40 AM, BarryInLA wrote:

    I bought a new top-of-the line HP desktop a month ago to upgrade my current machine and hand-it-down to a new employee. I have procrastinated setting it up and moving over my apps because it will literally take days to get everything moved and set up the way I like it, and getting used to Microsoft's latest attempt to destroy my productivity by "fixing" things that aren't broken and changing things for the sake of change, not necessarily for the better. I'm sorry I bought it. I echo the sentiments of jc above.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2013, at 2:51 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    lakawak is correct 100%,

    I have a 2 laptops from 2005 and 2006 that I use all the time. They run non-stop and have been for years. Why should I replace them if I use them mainly for internet, Office, and sometimes to watch videos? Unless you are playing the latest video games on a PC, there is no need to replace a PC.

    PC's aren't dying. They are alive and running great!

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2013, at 12:22 AM, Rockymarchino wrote:

    Ok, is there other alternatives to a PC nowadays that causes the less demand for a PC. Is Macintosh killing Apple laptops? It is not correct tho blame MSFT for the evolution of tablets and phones.

    I can recommend the NOKIA Lumia 920 as a complement to your Surface

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2013, at 9:41 AM, jvgfool wrote:

    One aspect of Microsoft’s business plan is the diversity with different platforms. No matter if you are using a PC, tablet, or phone, you are connecting to a Microsoft server in the background. Where do you think all of your emails come from? Microsoft and Google are the most diversified tech companies. Apple has most of its cards in the consumer market, which can be dangerous. Apple could use some diversifying. The consumer market can be very fickle.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2013, at 3:19 PM, TMFLouis wrote:

    I have a Windows 8 touch screen desktop and I have not found it worth the money. Maybe for a mobile device it would work but I find the new environment to be confusing to work with. Programs only work in one place, apps in another. The touch screen element is pretty useless as well in the desktop format.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2013, at 12:03 PM, TXTycoonMom wrote:

    The title of this article drew me in. I joke with people all the time that the depth and breadth of this recession is due to Microsoft changing its menus from 2003 version. Sounds ridiculous, but millions of people worldwide are still angry and take time out of their work day to complain about the stupid menus with co-workers. Now, they've decided to make more needless, unwanted changes to an interface that had the inherent loyalty of daily usage -- what are they thinking? Hilariously, this type of thing plus PC viruses drove me to buying Macbooks and Apple stock at ~$135 -- Apple stock took off for completely unrelated reasons, so for once was lucky. Good luck to you!

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2013, at 12:45 PM, Osiris39 wrote:

    The 'success' of the microsoft monopoly has killed enthusiasm for a really good and now necessary product. Take a look at computer stores. Does one see new parts and crowds of enthusiasts eagerly snapping up new video cards or audio cards? No! Motherboards from manufacturers have co-opted the markets for these and 'included' bland offerings on the motherboards and protected their systems with thickets of interlocking 'intellectual property' claims that effectively lock out quality while foisting a banal mediocrity on long suffering customers. Those of you readers with long memories or wider experience or both should remember the automobile and its aftermarket! There is still an active aftermarket for autos even in this age. That is because a free market yet exists in the motor vehicle industry.

    And when has been the last time a quality speaker system with more than two speakers {"2+1 systems"}, complete with real hands on physical volume, balance, and front rear fader and tone controls with four channels and a woofer....been commonly found on the market? How long has it been that entertainment software only made by monopolies at high prices been the only selections available to the public? Where has all the really good utility and programming software gone? All there is now is a collection of emasculated so called security programs that have built in holes for large spammers that often own the security software companies.

    How long has it been that the only business software commonly on shelves been costly banalities from Microsoft, like 'Office'. Almost yearly 'upgrades' from Microsoft make owning such an expensive and legally hazardous affair, especially with successive incompatible data formats militating the constant new purchase of ever more expensive, intrusive, and more insecure product. Their new game contained in Windows8 is the software store, arrogating to Microsoft all software choice. Now so far this is not totally mandatory, but Microsoft plans to lock its customers to its own product with Windows9 which is in the mill.

    Down its road are a 'subscription model' with diskless software that exists only 'in the cloud'. These are monsters that will take your business data upon which you rely for your livelyhood and keep it away from you and make you pay rent for their space to keep it. In this way Microsoft, like all monopolies is stretching to bite the hands that fed it so slavishly and so long. They will cut the manufacturers into making simple internet appliances instead of computers; cut the software industry out of free existance totally, and leave consumers with junk, software and hardware, at a high price in money and liberty.

    Yes the long suffering consumer is throwing in the towel, and retreating to his garage to get the out the dusty old machines with the interesting games and the free to re-install spreadsheets, word processors and databases and operating systems, all with no onerous 'registration' and/or 'authorization' schemes, so his kids can study without having the credit card companies eating their backsides alive. He is re-connecting the old 4 speakers systems and playing the old games that actually worked with these good audio systems before Microsoft forced the publishers and hardware manufacturers to dumb down their software to the dumbed down order to give space to foist upon the public an inferior product in another sector, the gaming consoles.

    And what has been Microsoft's profit for these long forays to monopoly? Their stock has gone down over the years from over a hundred to the present twenty dollar/share range. Gates owned or used to own a billion shares, so every dollar it lost was a dollar Gates lost. It is wasteful to pull a John D. Rockefeller caper for too long. Microsoft actually used to make hardware too. Joysticks that gave up the ghost after a month, mice that bit the dust in less than six. No joysticks on computers now available on the software uses them...why?

    And these are just examples of long lists of hardware and software forcedowns that Microsoft has inflicted on a long suffering public that is now just ......walking away. They have no other choice!

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2013, at 1:28 PM, Weyoun7 wrote:

    If the PC is dead as you have proclaimed, show me how you'll edit a photograph with Photoshop on an iPad/Android pad. You want to replace those two large screens for a 7-10" screen? The people who don't really need a computer may be happy tweeting and reading email on their pad (as I am) but the serious user will still need a real computer. I often run 3/4 browser windows at a time. I always use the two large screens, the precision mouse and the pen tablet. Those small screen touch devices just cant fill the need for a serious computer user. BTW I own 2 Samsung pads, 4 Kindles, a Xoom and a Windows Surface Pro (which I love).

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2013, at 2:06 PM, sunnyupnorth wrote:

    Having and using desktop computers, iphones and ipads and laptops I can say that there is a place and purpose for each. My ipad is indispensible, rather than sit at the desktop i can do a lot of internet based activity with it. The same goes for my iphone. Both have become indispensible, not only for my pleasure but my business as well. However i also use a "PC" desktop, mostly because i have invested in software that is designed for it. Its not so easy to change platforms. I run XT for most things (and Windows 7 on others) because its just plain functional and robust, it is NOT antiquated as some might suggest. Its a workhorse and it makes me money. I won't be changing that soon and if a computer fails i will replace it with another faster one, but not before.

    I have not seen anything with Windows 8 that says "hey, wow! This will change everything.." because we are not at that stage yet. That said I don't see Windows 8 causing PC sales to decline, rather, much of what used to be done only on a PC or Mac can be done on other, smaller and more interactive devices. That is the case.

    However, the heavy lifting work that PC and Mac are used to doing hasn't changed so I expect them to be around for a while... in lesser sales volumes, until one day, something changes the whole game again... as the PC did years ago...

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 11:41 AM, HurricaneJohnson wrote:

    Many of us that work in IT for a living look at the next "gee whiz" application and OS and make a conscious decision to embrace it or not.

    I'm running a 4 yr old MacBook Pro and under it using VMWare vFusion, I run an XP as a guest to run my MS programs. I over bought memory and hard drive at the time of purchase. As much as I want to, I can't just come up with a reason to replace something that for me works flawlessly. My wife wanted a PC (Lenovo - works great with Windowns 7) - but I should have bought her an iPad at about 1/4 the price.

    And you know, MS Word 2007, Excel, Visio, PPT works great. I just can't find a reason to upgrade.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 12:24 PM, MarkTexas wrote:

    We are not all geeks, do we really need that many versions of Windows 7. Window 7 Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate, Beginner, Home Basic, Home Premium, Etc. It is too confusing?

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:58 PM, davidv935 wrote:

    Gotta endorse the comment by "cleardeal" on 11 April. There appears to be two clear user segments and there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. One segment embraces the iPad, cell phone app approach that is tactile and easy for surfing the web. The other segment is the business / home professional user that uses the Microsoft Office suite or other types of applications. I can still type using a keyboard faster than using my thumbs on my cell phone; and I use Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Outlook routinely at home. But, as "cleardeal" pointed out, I have no interest in storing my data in some companies servers where they may not be able to protect it or they will charge me to get my data in the future. What happens to your family photos or working documents if you don't have it on your computer at home with a backup at home? I upgraded to Microsoft Office 2013 and immediately uninstalled it and will continue to use MSO 2010. MSO 2007 was the best and my upgrade to MSO 2010 was a waste of money. All they did was move things around and change the color palette. By removing the Start menu from Windows 8, you also can't see any link to the Control Panel to perform tasks there. I won't upgrade from Windows 7. Windows 8 is another Vista!

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:24 PM, prexactly wrote:

    Agreed, MS is hurting PC sales. I'm actually looking to buy a new PC (laptop), as my core2duo with 2gb of ram is starting to struggle, but I'm not at all excited about Win8. If my new PC comes with Win8, the first thing I'll do is upgrade it to Win7. MS's business model is based on that of a monopoly - they have made it abundantly clear (since the introduction of Office2007) that they do not care what their customers think or want. They seem to do no customer product testing or proofing, as again, they simply do not care - they think they know better than their customers and therefore customer opinions do not matter.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 4:56 PM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    As a user of Win 8 all I see is a few articles from a relatively small group of people too ignorant to adapt to a new OS.

  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2013, at 6:47 PM, gskinner75006 wrote:

    Microsoft has been killing the PC for the last ~35 years. Nothing new here.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2013, at 1:47 AM, zman77708 wrote:

    The PC isn't being killed. It's just changing its form slightly. Tablets and smartphones are personal computers. Microsoft was just too slow to recognize this trend toward new devices and blew it big time.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2013, at 5:33 AM, krios20 wrote:

    "Completely overstated article by those financed by GOOG, AMZN, & FB. Tablets are still internet toys compared to PCs/Macs that students & businesses alike need to work, not just play with social media."

    @cleardeal - What you don't understand, but some of these tech writers do understand, is that everything disruptive starts out as a "toy".

    Yes, even the PC itself was a "toy" compared to the mini-computers and mainframes of the day. You couldn't really do anything useless with them in the early days. It took many years before people started using them for docs and spreadsheets and so on.

    So do you see a trend here? Windows - doomed. Android/iOS potential to become very mature operating systems, and "upgrade" their markets, in which they are very popular now.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:31 PM, jesterboomer wrote:

    PC have stalled and money diverted to tablets but this may reverse in time. Windows 8 definitely hasn't helped. Suspect MSFT would have done better separately marketing Windows 8 classic and Windows 8 touchscreen - even if they were the same product with a different initial set-up.

    MSFT not a good listener that's for sure!

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2013, at 7:59 AM, win8sucks wrote:

    I work as tech support for Verizon fios and really hear peoples opinions. People hate windows8 and I don't blame them. I share their computer screen at times to troubleshoot problems and I can see why. I cannot see desktop PC's ever becoming obsolete. With all the video streaming, a lot of people don't even own a TV anymore. I see tv cable companies becoming obsolete! Why pay 80.00 a month for the same stuff you can stream free or with Netflix? Winxp was the best os by far. Win7 is a nice upgrade without too many changes. Get with it Microsoft, most middle generation and over don't want their computers looking like a smart phone!

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2013, at 8:01 AM, win8sucks wrote:

    I see desktop pc's making a big comeback after win8 fails.

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2013, at 8:03 AM, win8sucks wrote:

    The day I am forced to go to win8 is the day I switch to Mac

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2013, at 10:13 AM, calicojack73 wrote:

    Money talks... if there are declining sales, there are declining sales. One previous poster tried to argue that you still need PCs since there are things you still need them to do. I disagree... more tablets are going to be like the Surface Pro, capable of running a full OS and even then... that is only needed to run applications that weren't developed for tablets. That will eventually go away as well or Microsoft will create a "wrapper" to run the old applications in Metro. IMHO the transition from PCs is currently underway. We've hit a plateau of computing power so the form factor is the only thing changing. If I could plug a Surface Pro into a dock so I could display it on a larger monitor and use a full size bluetooth keyboard and mouse I'd much prefer that over a desktop or even a laptop provided that the computing power is there to do what I want. We've only seen the 1st generation of the Surface tablets... if they don't yet have the computing power, they will soon. People don't want desktop PCs anymore because the world has gone mobile. Having a computer that you can't take with you is now an outdated concept.

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2013, at 10:26 AM, calicojack73 wrote:

    I still don't understand why people don't like Windows 8. There is no difference between a tile and a shortcut on your desktop. They both launch applications. With Windows 8 I don't have to browse through Start>Programs>Etc to find the program I want... I just start typing the first few letters of the name and Windows finds it for me. Some people have told me that it is difficult to use the touch screen with older applications that were developed to use a mouse. Well, buy yourself a Bluetooth mouse or use a stylus. Microsoft still has a VERY strong reason for using Windows. They provide a standard without forcing you to use a particular make of hardware. Apple forces you to buy their hardware. Linux unfortunately is fragmented... most people won't know the differences between a RPM or a DEB file and how to install each. Also, not all hardware manufacturers are onboard with creating Linux drivers. Being open source the support is also spread out. Ubuntu 13.04 came out last week. On the Google+ community the bulk of the posts are about how this program or that plugin no longer works so no... Linux isn't the magic bullet.

    Microsoft may be the devil but it is the devil you know and in this case it really may be better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 3:17 AM, marliisa wrote:

    Don't count out Microsoft yet. My company has decided to replace desktops as needed with Microsoft Surface with Windows8. It's a tablet-like but full computer with full office - not just Apps. And everything is fully compatible from XP format which we have now.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 9:27 AM, purplenapkins wrote:

    I got the new HP Envy as a gift and it already has Windows 8 installed and it's great and all for someone who likes the layout and the format for maybe a tablet or a smartphone, but not that great and wonderful for a PC. It's causing me so much trouble, ever since I tried downloading anything it won't download. I tried downloading a few programs but nothing happened. Or a lot of times my pages are unresponsive and I end up having to kill them only to repeat the process. I really can't stand having the sticky corners and sliding and it's just so unorganized for me. Half of the things already installed on there, I don't even use or even when I try, it'll end up freezing again. I really don't recommend Windows 8 to anyone unless you're an extreme high tech Microsoft user, otherwise, don't get it. I'm usually compatible with just about any new technology exposed to me but Windows 8 has really disappointed me and put me through so much frustration that I've never had to handle before.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 10:50 PM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    On May 01, 2013, at 8:03 AM, win8sucks wrote:

    "The day I am forced to go to win8 is the day I switch to Mac"


    I hate Windows 8 and removed it from my P. C. after I had installed it and used it for awhile.


  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:04 AM, morefazoosafool wrote:

    Microsoft completely does not know who their customers are. Windows consumers are: Middle aged, working, hanging in there, wishing they were retired, or may be already retired, preferring the "what already works" to "something that might work someday."

    These Windows consumers are absolutely not the target market depicted in those "MS-super-fast-moving-ads-showing-young people-who-don't-know-a-spreadsheet-from-a-bed-spread".

    Meanwhile the actual potential target market, a.k.a. the older folks, who started with DOS 3.3, don't want to put up with a menu that seems to force them to use "yucky-green, yucky orange and yucky purple" as the one and only allowed MS color combination... These same older folks want a predictable interface, and whatever Windows 8 really is, it is absolutely not predictable. When we where 17, it was great to learn something by guessing, goofing around, making mistakes, but

    now that we are 47 and beyond, we don't want to be bothered with useless changes, i.e "getting rid of what works and replace it with something that doesn't".

  • Report this Comment On November 23, 2014, at 10:37 PM, mrtogue wrote:

    wow you guys are so far from the mark,, if you remember good old bill gates said he wanted a true internet computer system,,he doesn't want you to own any soft ware,, he wants you to be forced to go thru al his servers for every thing,, my god people cell phones apps ponly access a server some where ,, you don't have the program on your phone,, and that's what windows 8 is,, a app operating system with a few things from pervious windows to convince you in to believing you are in control,,,

    the simple fact is they want you to pay for every thing every time you need to use it,,

    notice that there are less and less laptops with cdroms,, notice that they are pushing you to buy a pad over a laptop,, cuase with a pad you cant truly save any thing,, you can only access a server to use it,,

    bill was pissed off that way back then people didn't want to give up their systems,, now he is fooling you into giving it up with out even noticing ,,

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